Event Video

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  • Jeffrey Frank discusses his new book, Ike and Dick, about the 20-year political and private relationship between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.
    Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage - Jeffrey Frank
    Thursday, September 12, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Jeffrey Frank discusses his new book Ike and Dick, which examines the 20-year political and private relationship of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon to reveal hurtful slights and tense misunderstandings. The two men brought out the best and worst in each other, and their association had important consequences for their respective presidencies.

    Frank is a former senior editor at The New Yorker and deputy editor of The Washington Post’s Outlook section. He is the author of four novels, including the Washington Trilogy - The Columnist, Bad Publicity, and Trudy Hopedale.

  • Historian Lewis L. Gould argues that Kansas City Star publisher William Rockhill Nelson played a major role in the political fortunes of former President Theodore Roosevelt.
    “I Am With You Tooth and Nail” - William Rockhill Nelson & Theodore Roosevelt
    Tuesday, September 10, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Theodore Roosevelt was one of the major figures in America’s Progressive movement in the early 20th century. But key to his influence was the support of Kansas City Star publisher William Rockhill Nelson. Historian Lewis L. Gould maintains that Nelson played a larger role in Roosevelt’s political fortunes than has been realized.

    Gould is visiting distinguished professor of history at Monmouth College. Among his books are Theodore Roosevelt, The William Howard Taft Presidency, and The Modern American Presidency.

  • Chicana writer Norma Cantú discusses her new book Canicula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera, in which she chronicles life on the U.S.-Mexico border.
    A Chicana’s Life in Literature
    Thursday, September 5, 2013
    Central Library

    Writer Norma Cantú, internationally known scholar of Latino and Chicano literature and studies, reads from her book Canicula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera, a chronicle of life on the U.S.-Mexico border. She will also read from her poetry book manuscript Meditacion Fronteriza/Borderlands Meditation and from her novel-in-progress, tentatively titled Champú or Hair Matters.

    Formerly a professor of English at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Cantú recently joined the UMKC Department of English and the Latina/Latino Studies Program. Her areas of interest and research include border studies, cultural studies, feminist studies, and folklore.

  • Editors Jonathan Earle and Diane Mutti Burke and three fellow historians who contributed to their book -- Kristen Oertel, Jeremy Neely, and Jennifer Weber – discuss the era of Bleeding Kansas, its overall impact on the Civil War, and the lasting divisiveness it spawned.
    Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border
    Tuesday, September 3, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    Long before the Civil War began violence was commonplace along the Missouri-Kansas border. There a recurring cycle of robbery, arson, torture, murder, and revenge was established over the same issues that would fuel the larger conflict.

    Jonathan Earle, associate professor of history at the University of Kansas, and Diane Mutti Burke, associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, are editors of the new book Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri. They are joined by contributing writers Kristen Oertel of the University of Tulsa, Jennifer Weber of the University of Kansas, and Jeremy Neely of Missouri State University for a discussion that blends political, military, social, and intellectual history to explain why the region’s divisiveness was so bitter and persisted for so long.

  • Political scientist Carolyn N. Long examines the Warren Court decision that decided evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment could not be used in state criminal law prosecutions.
    Mapp v. Ohio: Carolyn N. Long
    Thursday, August 29, 2013
    Central Library

    When police in Ohio raided Dollree Mapp’s home looking for evidence in a bombing, all they found were some “lascivious books.” Mapp appealed her pornography conviction, leading the Supreme Court under Earl Warren to address not only the search-and-seizure question but also the “exclusionary rule” concerning the use of evidence not specified in a search warrant.

    Carolyn N. Long is associate professor of political science at Washington State University – Vancouver.

  • Author Kirstin Downey discusses her book about FDR’s Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins who implemented the forty-hour work week, child labor laws, Social Security, unemployment compensation, and other essential New Deal programs.
    The Woman Behind the New Deal: Frances Perkins
    Wednesday, August 28, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    She is no longer a household name, but during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration Frances Perkins was one of America’s most influential women. As the first female secretary of labor she was responsible for implementing programs that reshaped society and business and established the social safety net we enjoy today.

    Biographer Kirstin Downey examines Perkins’ life and enduring impact in a discussion of her book The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins – Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage.

  • Former Kansas City Star columnist Steve Penn discusses his new book about Pete O’Neal, the leader of the Kansas City Black Panthers who was convicted on a weapons charge, fled to Africa and during four decades in exile has become an honored community leader in Tanzania.
    Case for a Pardon: The Pete O’Neal Story
    Friday, August 23, 2013
    Central Library

    Former Kansas City Star columnist Steve Penn joins U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II for a discussion of Penn’s new book Case for a Pardon: The Pete O’Neal Story.

    In 1970 Kansas City Black Panther leader O’Neal – facing a four-year jail sentence after his conviction on a weapons charge – fled to Africa. In his more than four decades of exile in Tanzania, O’Neal has become a force for progress. He is a founder of the United African Alliance Community Center, which provides the community with free art, music, film, and educational opportunities.

  • On the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, historian Tony R. Mullis of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth examines the notorious massacre and the years of back-and-forth atrocities that led up to it.
    The Sack of Lawrence and the Guerrilla War
    Wednesday, August 21, 2013
    Central Library

    On the 150th anniversary of William Clarke Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Tony R. Mullis of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, examines the notorious massacre and the years of back-and-forth atrocities by Confederate bushwackers and pro-Union Jayhawkers that led up to it.

    Mullis is a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force and the author of Peacekeeping on the Plains: Army Operations in Bleeding Kansas.

  • Time magazine editor-at-large  David Von Drehle holds a public conversation about The Future  of Space Exploration with The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach. The two will also discuss the recent sale of The Post to billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com.
    The Future of Space Exploration and the Sale of The Washington Post : Joel Achenbach
    Tuesday, August 20, 2013
    Central Library

    The August Dateline: Washington event at the Kansas City Public Library was supposed to be about outer space. Just outer space. Host David Von Drehle and The Washington Post’s Joel Achenbach were to talk about the future of NASA and the American space program now that our astronauts are being launched from sites in Russia. But the recent sale of The Post to billionaire Jess Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, gives special meaning to the event.

    Not only is Achenbach a current Washington Post employee, but Von Drehle is a former Post reporter. So it’s only natural that they will devote part of the evening to discussing this seismic upheaval in the world of American journalism.

  • Lawyer and author James P. Muehlberger digs into the 1869 killing of a bank cashier by the James brothers - long thought to be part of their first robbery - and finds it was actually an assassination attempt meant to avenge the death of Confederate guerrilla “Bloody Bill” Anderson.
    The Lost Cause: The Trials of Frank and Jesse James
    Thursday, August 15, 2013
    Plaza Branch

    The 1869 killing of a bank cashier in Gallatin, Missouri, has long been considered the first in a long line of robberies by Jesse and Frank James. But in a discussion of his new book, lawyer and author James P. Muehlberger maintains that it wasn’t a robbery attempt at all. Rather, as documents that Muehlberger discovered show, it was a carefully planned execution meant to avenge the death of Confederate guerrilla leader “Bloody Bill” Anderson during the Civil War.